The Countdown to Electronic Medical Records
How STAR BASE Consulting is helping healthcare IT departments meet the deadline for computerized medical records
As many of you know, the Obama administration has earmarked $19 billion to accelerate the computerization of medical records. Hospitals have until 2014 to transition to electronic medical records (EMR), although an extra grace year is expected, giving most healthcare organizations until 2015.
This is a huge undertaking for healthcare organizations — on the scale of an ERP implementation on the eve of Y2K — and IT leaders are bearing the brunt of it. We recently caught up with Senior Account Executive Christy Rollyson to learn how STAR BASE is helping healthcare organizations go digital.
Q: How is the EMR mandate impacting healthcare IT departments?
A: It is similar to the 1999 ERP craze, when manufacturing was scrambling to be ready for Y2K. As we approach the deadline for EMR, the urgency is mounting and we are again seeing many organizations scramble to get up to speed.
On top of that, the government is starting to apply tremendous pressure. Initially government offered incentives to healthcare organizations to computerize medical records, now they are instituting financial penalties if you don't. Healthcare IT departments who have not yet digitized are faced with the proverbial stick instead of the carrot — and the clock is ticking!
Q: How is STAR BASE helping companies meet the deadline to computerize medical records?
A: We can help healthcare organizations fill all the positions in the EMR implementation suite. We particularly excel in locating those hard-to-find resources.
STAR BASE is not a huge company. However, the process we have in place to understand the healthcare industry and the technical and professional expertise required for a successful EMR implementation team gives us an advantage. We have a strong pipeline of resources for many of the healthcare software packages — everything from analysts, developers, builders, integrators and technical resources. Healthcare companies often cite the quality of our candidates as the reason they turn to us.
Q: What would you say are some of the most important things to consider in any EMR implementation?
A: Two things that any organization must handle very carefully are patient care and patient confidentiality. From my many conversations with healthcare leaders, it is clear that regardless of the selected technology path, these two areas must be allotted high priority.
Q: Any final thoughts on the EMR mandate?
A: While 2015 may seem far off, it really isn't when you consider what a serious undertaking it is. Between the retraining, retooling and data integration, companies need to take a realistic stock of what it will require of them. For some hospitals, computerizing patient information is completely new. For others they have put a proverbial "toe in the water" in some areas but still have a long way to go before they are completely electronic. Regardless of where healthcare organizations fall on the technology gamut, the sooner they get started the better their chances of procuring the resources required for a successful EMR implementation.
To find out more information about how STAR BASE can help with your EMR implementation contact us at 513.245.0400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.